Email marketing is a cost effective, modern approach to marketing and a valid demand generation strategy, but can be a bit tricky to do right. When trying to utilize an email marketing campaign for demand or lead generation, one of the key indicators of success is your click through rate. Industry trends show that, on average, conversion rates vary between 0.5% and 1.5% and, while these number may not seem huge, they accentually are pretty significant.
So how do you get your click through rates up? Unfortunately, there is no magic formula to increase click through rates. Instead, a combination of various elements in an email contribute to the over-all click through rate. Focusing on these areas is not a 100% guarantee that you're going to see off the charts returns, but they do contribute to the overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaign.
Bearing that in mind, here are four main components of an email to focus on:
- Clean your database – Whenever I plan an email marketing campaign, I take some time to make sure that I have a clean database. By this I mean, I remove all the unwanted/unresponsive recipients from past campaigns. This will reduce the count of contacts you send the email to, and leave the people who actually read your emails. Starting with the best data gives you a good foundation to create your campaign.
- Subject Line – This is your first chance to pull a prospect in, so make it count! Your subject lines should urge your audience to open the email. You want to get your readers attention and create a subject line that honestly advertises the content of your email.
- Call to action – You should have a call to action in your email, but you don't want to overwhelm readers with 10 or 20 links or buttons. Decide what the main goal of your email is going to be (getting people to download an e-book or driving traffic to your blog) and focus on that. Start your email off with one main message and then follow it up with one call to action or a short list of relevant links.
- Content– Content is king! The content of your email is the most important component of any email marketing campaign. You want to be providing your readers with content that they want to read, otherwise there is no incentive for them to open your emails, click on your links, or convert. Focus your content on what is relevant to your readers. Use keyword data for your industry and website to help guide your content creation if you aren't sure what constitutes "relevant."
These suggestions aren't a magic formula, but they are good places to start if you want to improve your email marketing campaign ROI. Keep in mind that what works for one company may not work for another. So be creative and try new approaches, or partner up with a sales advisory firm that already has experience creating successful campaigns.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October 2012 and has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.